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In Chronological Order, Vol. 2 (1932-1934)

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Album Review

By early 1932, the point at which this second volume in Document's series begins, Big Bill Broonzy was well established on the Chicago music scene; although his music was beginning to take on an urbanized flavor, his forté was still country-blues, and the opening tracks here — "Mr. Conductor Man," "Too-Too Train Blues" and "Bull Cow Blues" among them — are among his finest examples of the form. Of equal interest are the sides he subsequently recorded with his Jug Busters, a rather mysterious group which yielded just two tracks — "Rukus Juice Blues" and "M and O Blues" — but which pushed Broonzy further away from his rural roots; in all likelihood, the group also inaugurated his collaboration with the enigmatic yet renowned Black Bob, with whom he would cut a series of classic guitar and piano duets in the months to follow.


Born: 26 June 1893 in Scott, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s

Big Bill Broonzy was born William Lee Conley Broonzy in the tiny town of Scott, Mississippi, just across the river from Arkansas. During his childhood, Broonzy's family -- itinerant sharecroppers and the descendants of ex-slaves -- moved to Pine Bluff to work the fields there. Broonzy learned to play a cigar box fiddle from his uncle, and as a teenager, he played violin in local churches, at community dances, and in a country string band. During World War I, Broonzy enlisted in the U.S. Army, and...
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